Mary Ann Claud’s second novel tests family relationships

Published 8:54 am Tuesday, June 21, 2016

With an MBA in hand, young Volly Brunson returns to her hometown of Parkersburg, S.C.,

Mary Ann Claud

Mary Ann Claud

resolved to rescue her family’s struggling textile firm. Her story is the central focus of “Whirlygig: The Dancin’ Man’s Daughter,” Mary Ann Claud’s second novel about the dysfunctional Ward clan and their battle with modernity and globalization.

Now available in print and online, “Whirlygig” tells of the challenges facing an ambitious and bright woman who refuses to accept the status quo. In her defiance she is forced to contend with a skeptical father, the company president, a distracted mother and a trio of uncles, only one of whom seems sympathetic.

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A book signing for Whirlygig is scheduled for 4-6 p.m., Thursday, June 23, at the Tryon Fine Arts Center.

Since May 2014, when she published her first novel about the Ward family, “The Dancin’ Man,” Claud has made over 50 presentations in the Carolinas to book groups, bookstores, literary festivals, and service clubs. She has also had broadcast interviews in both states, including one with D. G. Martin on WCHL public radio.

A book signing is scheduled for June 23 for Mary Ann Claud, Tryon resident and author of “Whirlygig: The Dancin’ Man’s Daughter.”

A book signing is scheduled for June 23 for Mary Ann Claud, Tryon resident and author of “Whirlygig: The Dancin’ Man’s Daughter.”

Currently a resident of Tryon, N.C., Claud grew up in Lancaster, S.C., where her father was a senior executive in a major textile company. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C., but began writing professionally in the 1970s.

Beginning in 1976 for a decade she wrote a front page Sunday feature for the Hendersonville Times-News. Over the course of her writing career, Claud has published everything from art and music reviews to travel pieces and personal profiles. She has also taught adult education courses in creative writing, Southern literature, Henry James and William Faulkner.

Claud enjoys engaging readers in all settings, but prefers presentations that evolve into question and answer sessions about not only her fictional Ward family, but also about the creative writing process as a tool for self-expression.

For more information about Mary Ann Claud and “Whirlygig: The Dancin’ Man’s Daughter,” visit or contact Olin Sansbury at 864-978-1868 or

– article submitted
by Olin Sansbury